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Rankings of best undergraduate biology programs in nation?

APDudeAPDude Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
edited November 2010 in College Search & Selection
Does anybody have a list pertaining to the rankings for undergrad biology programs/ especially biomedical programs in the nation?

Post edited by APDude on

Replies to: Rankings of best undergraduate biology programs in nation?

  • LuciferliedLuciferlied - Posts: 200 Junior Member
    I'm interested in this also.
  • GoBlue81GoBlue81 Registered User Posts: 3,897 Senior Member
    The university with a top medical school usually has a top biological/biomedical science program.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,812 Senior Member
    I don't believe any such list exists. Nothing that is up to date and reliable, that is. Even if there was agreement on some set of objective criteria, the supporting data probably would not be available.

    You have a couple of "proxy" rankings that might get you close. One is the US News ranking of graduate biology programs (but this will miss all the LACs). Another is the HEDS/IPEDS ranking of colleges by baccalaureate origins of PhD recipients (where did biology PhDs go to college?) In life sciences, the top 10 per capita spans a nice range from selective (Kalamazoo) to super selective (CalTech and Swarthmore). It also includes LACs (like Kalamazoo and Swarthmore), two technical institutes (MIT, CalTech), and one research university (Chicago) ... and spans a range from rural (Grinnell) to suburban (Haverford) and urban (Chicago, MIT). So this list (link below) would be a good place to start.

  • ArbydanArbydan Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    This list came from a biased source......I understand that there are a lot of debate on any list.........
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,812 Senior Member
    ^ I don't believe the HEDS Consortium is a biased source. If you mean Reed College, they are simply reporting the HEDS results, as cited at the bottom of the web page. The results are data-driven. Granted, they make Reed look good, but so what?

    I think the most important debate about using and interpreting the PhD production data has to do with how to normalize for school size and program composition. The LACs seem to perform very well in the per capita rankings, but is that truly because they do a better job of motivating and preparing students to succeed in graduate school? Or are the results skewed because tippy top universities tend to send more students to law, medical and business school? Or because some large univerities (like Penn) have engineering, nursing, and other pre-professional programs that might reduce the per capita PhD production.

    Well, as I suggested, use such a list as a starting point. But I do think that anyone who knows colleges well will recognize that many of the schools that do well by this measure (places like CalTech, MIT, Swarthmore, Reed, Chicago, Grinnell, Carleton) are something of a breed apart in terms of academic intensity. It's no coincidence, I think, that this top 10 overlaps significantly with the Huffington Post's "10 Most Intellectual Colleges" list. The 10 Most INTELLECTUAL Colleges (PHOTOS)
  • swish14swish14 Registered User Posts: 1,325 Senior Member
    William & Mary has the best med school acceptance rate in Virginia. Most of those students major in Biology. One of the best LAC programs in the country.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,523 Senior Member
    undergrad ranking

    Biology rankings from Gourman Report
    UC San Diego
    UC Berkeley
    U Colorado
    U Washington
    U Chicago
    Wash U St Louis
    U Michigan
    U Penn
    Indiana U
    UNC Chapel Hill
    U Utah
    Johns Hopkins
    UC Irvine
    Notre Dame
    UC Santa Barbara
    U Illinois Urbana Champaign
    U Pittsburgh
    U Oregon
    SUNY Stony Brook
    U Rochester
    U Minnesota
    SUNY Buffalo
    U Texas Austin
    Florida State
    Michigan State
    U Connecticut
    UC Riverside
    Iowa State
    SUNY Albany
    Case Western
    Boston U
    Ohio State
    U Iowa
    Penn State
    U Kansas
    Rutgers New Brunswick
    US Air Force Academy
    U Missouri Columbia
  • fallenchemistfallenchemist Honorary Super Mod Posts: 25,129 Inactive
    The Gourman report was last updated in 1997, and would be worthless on that basis alone. But besides that, it has been shown to be completely unsound in its methodology and assumptions. The fact of the matter is that any school in the top 100 in the country, certainly for national research universities and most likely for LAC's also, will have perfectly good biology programs that will prepare you for top graduate programs or med school.
  • rrjunerrjune Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I agree with fallenchemist. For an undergraduate program, you want to find a find a school where you can get a good solid background in your subject and that works for you. Look for undergraduate research opportunities. The professors with multi-year massive grants usually don't take on undergraduates. Finding a professor just starting out who is building a lab can provide some really great opportunities not available in an established lab. Once you have your undergraduate degree, then go for the best graduate program you can get into for your doctorate. It is also very helpful if the professor you work for as an undergraduate know someone in one of the big name schools you are interested in.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,627 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    Biology is a staple ....it's very good at a gazillion places.

    What is a biomedical major? Who has that? What's the purpose of the major? What is the career goal?
This discussion has been closed.