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UW does well in final NRC dept rankings

barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,947 Senior Member
edited May 2011 in University of Wisconsin
With thanks to UCBChemEGrad--Randomly selected list of some major schools. If you go down to Top 20 programs UW has 55 in the top 20. That's great depth IMHO. And this study was done before the recent hirings under the Madison Initiative in which some depts that lost some good people in the period covered by the study were rebuilt with some top senior people.

# PhD Programs Placed in Top 10:
Berkeley - 48
Harvard - 47
Stanford - 40
Michigan - 40
Wisconsin - 36
UCLA - 35
Cornell - 31
UT-Austin - 29
Penn - 28
UNC - 26
UIUC - 26
UMD - 20
UMN-TC - 18
UF - 9
UVA - 7

# PhD Programs with Upper Range Including #1:
Harvard - 19
Berkeley - 16
Stanford - 11
Wisconsin - 6
Columbia - 5
MIT- 5
Michigan - 5
Princeton - 5
Yale - 5
Cornell - 4
Penn - 4
UCLA - 3
UT-Austin - 3
UIUC - 2
UMN-TC - 1
UNC - 1
UF - 1
UMD - 1
UVA - 1
Post edited by barrons on

Replies to: UW does well in final NRC dept rankings

  • novaparentnovaparent - Posts: 742 Member
    Is there a graduate school admissions site that this info can be posted on? Because I fail to see a direct connection between this info and the quality of UW's undergraduate teaching and/or education. If anything, this info simply confirms UW's reputation as an institution focused on research and graduate education where the undergraduate school plays second fiddle.
  • DescarteszDescartesz Registered User Posts: 1,740 Senior Member
    ... and even more so the reputations of Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, and Michigan, Cornell, and UCLA. UW should be embarrassed to be in such company.
  • novaparentnovaparent - Posts: 742 Member
    I am by no means suggesting that UW should be "embarrassed" to be in this company. To the contrary, UW has every reason to be proud. My only point is that these rankings say very little about the quality of UW's undergraduate education, which of course is the primary audience on this board. Many educators will argue that undergraduate education at Harvard isn't that school's greatest strength either.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,947 Senior Member
    Whereas the same faculty teach both undergrad and graduate students and that many graduate level classes are also open to undergrads the fact that UW has both the faculty and facilities to be highly ranked in so many fields would certainly also inform the quality of the undergrad programs in these areas.
    Now just take yourself over to the Harvard board and tell them how you feel about their undergrad education. I'm sure they will love to be enlightened.
  • mmatthews2mmatthews2 Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    This is really interesting....do you have a link to where you found it?
  • novaparentnovaparent - Posts: 742 Member
    Barrons, there's no reason to be so defensive. It's not like I'm the only one who's ever raised this issue.

    Campus Connection: Too much focus on research at some universities?

    And then there's this perspective:

    http://www.thecollegesolution.com/whats-a-research-university/

    And this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/education/10harvard.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=%22you%20come%20to%20harvard%20to%20be%20around%20some&st=cse

    My only point is that singing the praises of UW's graduate/research programs isn't necessarily music to the ears of an undergrad who wants good teaching.
  • DescarteszDescartesz Registered User Posts: 1,740 Senior Member
    My only point is that singing the praises of UW's graduate/research programs isn't necessarily music to the ears of an undergrad who wants good teaching.
    I agree with this, but I think your initial point was larger:
    this info simply confirms UW's reputation as an institution focused on research and graduate education where the undergraduate school plays second fiddle.
    And my point (implicitly) was that it does nothing of the sort. There are reasons to think that strong research supports a strong undergraduate program (keeps faculty current, gives undergraduates research opportunities) and reasons to think that it might detract from the same (by diverting time and resources from undergraduate teaching). There is no reason to think that this evidence by itself confirms nor even suggests too little attention is paid to undergraduates. No more reason, at least, than for the other schools listed. It only supports that UW is fulfilling part of its mission well -- providing the benefits of research to its home state. And, since this is the UW forum, it seems barron's has situated it in the most relevant place.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,947 Senior Member
    I'm not defensive. Just tired of your **** schtick.

    mmathews. You have to go here and download the Excel files and then you can start playing and sorting. Most use the R, 5th percentile column number to capture the number of top-ranked programs. NRC tried to avoid publishing a direct list of top programs so that's how most U's are looking at how they did.

    A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States

    National Research Council ranks UC Berkeley?s Ph.D. programs among nation?s best
  • DescarteszDescartesz Registered User Posts: 1,740 Senior Member
    This is really interesting....do you have a link to where you found it?
    I suspect UCBChemEGrad has compiled his statistics from here (or the NRC site).

    Find the Graduate School That's Right for You — PhDs.org Graduate School Guide

    The site permits you to rank programs based on customized weighted factors, thus "top 10" lists generated will depend on what you consider important. If I wanted research reputation only (not grad student outcomes, diversity, etc.) I would maximally weight both the "regression" and "survey" based factors and ignore the rest.

    I do wonder how UCBChemEGrad counted. You can, for example, find 3 UW programs in the top 10 for Animal Sciences (zoology, dairy science, and animal science) if you use survey-based only rankings. Would this count as 1 or 3 UW top-10 instances in his survey?
  • novaparentnovaparent - Posts: 742 Member
    "There is no reason to think that this evidence by itself confirms nor even suggests too little attention is paid to undergraduates."

    By itself? Maybe not. But a contributing factor? Sure there is. We are talking about a university whose undergraduate reputation and financial resources without question lag what's offered at the graduate level. At a minimum, this certainly "suggests" what the primary focus of the university might be. There's nothing wrong with suggesting that high school students take a university's primary mission into account -- and whether that mission is consistent with their needs -- when considering whether it's the best fit. And judging from the links I've posted above I'm hardly the only person who has this view.

    Note, too, that I never said UW pays "little" attention to undergraduates. "Second fiddle" means "less" -- not "little."

    UW can be justly proud with its extraordinary standing in graduate school circles, and aspiring undergraduates can also rightly ask whether this is necessarily a good thing for them. At a minimum we are talking about an open question.
  • kxc1961kxc1961 Registered User Posts: 801 Member
    I can't see why the strength in graduate school could be viewed as a weakness for undergrad programs.

    I don't know about UW. But I do know UNC and UT, where strengths in their chemistry department translated to popularities of the chemistry department for undergraduates. One prominent example: Holden Thorpe (The UNC Chancellor today) was an undergrad at UNC working in our group, when I was a graduate student at UNC back in the 1980's.
  • novaparentnovaparent - Posts: 742 Member
    kxc1961, maybe you can't see it but as i've demonstrated there are prominent educators -- including Harvard educators -- who can. UW is not a wealthy university. it has to set priorities. those priorities have long been focused on the graduate level. this is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, just a fact.
  • kxc1961kxc1961 Registered User Posts: 801 Member
    Professors who are also member of national academy of sciences at UNC and UT are REQUIRED to teach undergrads. In addition, they always have undergrad students in their labs as research assistants. Better programs have more star professors of that caliber. Therefore, I do see direct correlation between the strength of graduate program and undergraduate program in the case of UNC and UT.
This discussion has been closed.