bubba_bones wrote:@ matonski: Could you also add the univs ranked overall between 50-100 ?
twistor wrote:Realize that what some anonymous professor in another state thinks of the program has no relevance to your actual experience.
YellowXDart wrote:I really wish they would do an Astronomy/Astrophysics subfield ranking also.
twistor wrote:A complete joke.
Realize that what some anonymous professor in another state thinks of the program has no relevance to your actual experience.
HappyQuark wrote:I think the (potential) issue with Grad School rankings involves how people utilize them, not the rankings themselves. There most certainly is value to an analysis of the general population of physicists and their determinations of which departments are doing the most influential work in a certain area or in the general field. After all, if asking those in academia for advice on grad school selection was such a bad idea, we wouldn't do it with our undergraduate advisors and faculty. The rankings are not supposed to be an all encompassing and comprehensive indicator of an individuals success and/or happiness at an institution. It's not as if we are supposed to be reading these rankings to say that all people who attend a school ranked #10 will be twice as happy and twice as productive as a school ranked #20. The rankings are meant only to get your feet wet in choosing a program. You should look up which schools are regarded as highly productive and successful and then to do a significant amount of further investigation on the faculty (quantity and quality), facilities, funding, research expertise, interdisciplinary work, etc. Furthermore, it gives you an indicator of which schools everyone will be applying to, so you know where best to allocate your application fees and travel expenses.
If you use graduate school rankings for what they are, rather than what we all wish they could be, you will find that they are surprisingly useful.
It's important that you use the rankings to supplement—not replace—careful thought and your own inquiries.
Response rates for the doctoral Ph.D. sciences were as follows: for biological sciences, 15 percent; chemistry, 25 percent; computer science, 46 percent; earth sciences, 29 percent; mathematics, 34 percent; physics, 31 percent; and statistics, 67 percent.
twistor wrote:Does it even give an option for a response such as, "I am not familiar with ______'s physics department."?
Lack of familiarity might explain the low response rate. Or even more tellingly it could indicate that 69% of professors don't think well enough of the ratings system to bother giving a response.
Individuals who were unfamiliar with a particular school's programs were asked to select "don't know."The schools with the highest average scores among those who rated them were sorted in descending order and appear here.
twistor wrote:Ok, then.
31% of physics professors responded AND "don't know" was a valid option.
Therefore the situation is worse than it looks because <31% of professors have rated the programs.
mobytish wrote:So basically, ratings of graduate programs are affected by factors such as the networking and collaboration of existing or past physics professors at a university (so that other professors in their field recognize the name of the university) as well as the sheer number of graduate students passing through the program (since these students are sometimes going on to become professors). The long and the short, the ratings are a popularity contest, especially when you consider that it's unlikely many schools actually receive negative responses.
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