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Sociology Phd Rankings

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There will be new US News rankings next week. 

 

Traditionally, the NRC were more highly regarded in most departments than the US News rankings, but they come out less often and the last set caused a huge brouhaha (http://www.asanet.org/images/press/docs/pdf/2010_NRC_Rankings_of_Doctorate_Programs.pdf).

 

Do those get published online right away? Or are departments informed first and they get published later?

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So we should use this to make a quick last-minute decision on where to attend, right?

 

"As always, U.S. News advises students to use the rankings to supplement—not substitute—careful thought. The rankings should only be used as one tool to choose the right graduate school or program—not as the only factor driving the final choice."

 

 :P 

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Any speculations on who will move up or down?

 

I can't pretend to know about the field in general, but I'll make a couple predictions based on my experience:

 

1. Cornell goes up. Every professor I've talked to says they're getting better and better.

2. Duke goes down. Losing some people like David Brady hurts. They're rebuilding.

3. Notre Dame moves up. There's been a pretty good buzz about that program.

4. Berkeley drops from #1. The state budget there is a mess and the program is suffering. They won't drop far though.

 

Again, this is just speculation based on conversations with faculty at different programs. Don't take it too seriously. 

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I believe that Irvine will be making a big push upwards.

There is definitely a positive vibe in the sociology world that good things are happening there.

 

But, what do I know?! B)

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Any speculations on who will move up or down?
Here's what I know: - Umass is going up. They're building quickly. - Rutgers is growing down. They lost a few people and not hiring anytime soon - New School will continue sinking. No money, student placement sucks... - the top five will probably remain there..,

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There is tremendous consistency in the rankings. Because they're all about peer-review, and a lot of what people know is what they've read in rankings before, there's not usually much movement.

 

While I agree that departments mentioned above are on the rise, their movement in the rankings might depend on their approaches. For example, UMass, Notre Dame and others are building mostly with junior hires. Cornell, also, has great junior people. Traditionally assistant professors, regardless of quality, don't affect the rankings much. Because Duke and Irvine decided to focus more on recruiting senior stars, they might see more of a shift. Of course, this is all conjecture. Only time will tell.

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There is tremendous consistency in the rankings. Because they're all about peer-review, and a lot of what people know is what they've read in rankings before, there's not usually much movement.

 

While I agree that departments mentioned above are on the rise, their movement in the rankings might depend on their approaches. For example, UMass, Notre Dame and others are building mostly with junior hires. Cornell, also, has great junior people. Traditionally assistant professors, regardless of quality, don't affect the rankings much. Because Duke and Irvine decided to focus more on recruiting senior stars, they might see more of a shift. Of course, this is all conjecture. Only time will tell.

 

Interesting to have a more inside perspective. Thanks!

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Interesting to have a more inside perspective. Thanks!

 

I'm not much of an insider, so take it with a grain of salt. For what it's worth, I'm just as excited for them to come out as all of you! Changes, regardless of how small, could be quite interesting (and telling).

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There is tremendous consistency in the rankings. Because they're all about peer-review, and a lot of what people know is what they've read in rankings before, there's not usually much movement.

 

While I agree that departments mentioned above are on the rise, their movement in the rankings might depend on their approaches. For example, UMass, Notre Dame and others are building mostly with junior hires. Cornell, also, has great junior people. Traditionally assistant professors, regardless of quality, don't affect the rankings much. Because Duke and Irvine decided to focus more on recruiting senior stars, they might see more of a shift. Of course, this is all conjecture. Only time will tell.

Word on the grapevine is that UMass has hired a very prominent social movement scholar who will be starting in the fall.

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I can't pretend to know about the field in general, but I'll make a couple predictions based on my experience:

 

1. Cornell goes up. Every professor I've talked to says they're getting better and better.

2. Duke goes down. Losing some people like David Brady hurts. They're rebuilding.

3. Notre Dame moves up. There's been a pretty good buzz about that program.

4. Berkeley drops from #1. The state budget there is a mess and the program is suffering. They won't drop far though.

 

Again, this is just speculation based on conversations with faculty at different programs. Don't take it too seriously. 

 

I'd say you're right about 3 and 4. Notre Dame deserves to move up and if it doesn't it'll be largely attributable to out-of-touch people who still think Maureen Hallinan is the only person there, or sheer bias. They've built like crazy in the past few years. 1 is arguable, as it's a relatively small department and a little niche-y. 2 is probably wrong. Duke lost Brady, sure, but since the last round of rankings they also hired Steve Vaisey (from Berkeley) and Martin Ruef (from Princeton).

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Word on the grapevine is that UMass has hired a very prominent social movement scholar who will be starting in the fall.

 Can you say who? Feel free to PM me if you want to be discrete.

 

 

I'm also pumped to see what happens. I don't expect much movement in the upper tiers, but I would like to see UC Irvine and ND move up. I think Irvine in particular is one of the best programs in the country to do a a few kinds of work. 

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Word on the grapevine is that UMass has hired a very prominent social movement scholar who will be starting in the fall.

 

This type of thing should be much more important for where people choose than too much attention to the rankings. It's that time of year when people announce that they're moving (e.g., I heard that Robb Willer just announced he's moving from Berkeley to Stanford in the fall). Ensure that your decision on where to attend is made with the best information possible. I've heard rumors about other movement, too. It's okay to ask students if there's anyone that people think is going or coming. While they might just be rumors now, it's better than nothing. 

Edited by faculty

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Word on the grapevine is that UMass has hired a very prominent social movement scholar who will be starting in the fall.

a few from Irvine...

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I get the sense that there's some high hopes for both Irvine and ND upward trends this round. I can't be upset and I agree!

 

Aside from those, my speculations are:

Berkeley drops 1 or 2.

UNC drops

CUNY drops

Cornell rises

Arizona drops 1 or 2

Minnesota drops

UC Davis drops

UC San Diego drops

UMass rises

 

Overall, the top 15 (~20) will look similar.

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There might not be as much change as we think - or the results could be really surprising.  A few reasons: USNWR in their grad rankings, use a metric of peer ranking/evaluation and a measure of publication record by the faculty.  So this naturally favors large programs (they have more faculty and more publications) and prestigious institutions (high regard through peer evaluation.. Harvard will always Harvard, Berkeley will always be Berkeley).  Also, the data for these rankings was probably taken 2-3 years ago, so any recent changes/movement might not really make a difference.  I think the moral of all this though is to not take these rankings that seriously (but sadly, we do and we will when they come out).

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