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US News Graduate School Rankings - Anyway to find a complete list of previous years?


iammaffyou
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I recommend looking at other lists, too.  There are a few grad school lists out there, each of which uses a slightly different methodology.

 

http://www.phds.org/graduate-school/graduate-school-listings-and-rankings

 

I would recommend the one above.  It accounts for subjective things like reputation, but also has metrics that are (in my opinion) more critical that aren't accounted for in US News.  For example, the rankings in the link above can include the National Research Council's quality ranking (which is a mix of objective/subjective rankings of schools based on assessments by 50 faculty members), research productivity (which includes number of publications per faculty, number of citations per publication, amount of grant funding, and grant awards per faculty), student outcomes (how successful are students that graduate from the program), and diversity.  What's neat about the tool above is you can create your own custom ranking based on what's important to you.  So if you're only concerned with the subjective ranking and research productivity, you can create the ranking based on those metrics alone.

 

Interestingly, at least in my field, the more data-driven rankings differ fairly substantially from US News.  One thing the ranking does is level the playing field in terms of program size.  One of my targeted engineering programs is very small compared to others.  It has an excellent reputation but because of the measures used in US News, it ranks somewhat low on that list (still top 20), but in the data-driven ranking it comes out to 1 or 2.

Edited by phdcandidate022014
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@phdcandidate022014, that is an extremely interesting link with lots of information I haven't seen before. It's helped me put some programs into perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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According to the FAQ on the US News website (http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2013/09/09/frequently-asked-questions-2014-best-colleges-rankings#26), the only way is to buy previous print copies. Some programs may have their rankings history posted on their websites, although it appears that only a few consistently high rated schools seem to do that.

 

 

Another format of the NRC data for the spreadsheet inclined can be found here (although the data is dated by now): http://www.nap.edu/rdp/

 

I believe that phds.org uses the same raw data as the previous link but they have a slightly different way of presenting it.

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Another thing to note when comparing US News rankings from different years is that the methodology varies a bit from time to time so an apparent rise/fall in ranking may not necessarily equate to a tangible change in the quality of the program, but rather different weightings for certain evaluation criteria.

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