About US News physics subject ranking: What is the difference between USA domestic ranking and global ranking?

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wucun667
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:47 pm

About US News physics subject ranking: What is the difference between USA domestic ranking and global ranking?

Postby wucun667 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:42 pm

Hey guys, I was going through the physics subject rankings on US News and something peculiar caught me. It seems that sometimes the USA domestic ranking doesn't match up with the global ranking. Here are some examples:
Domestically, Brown is ranked at #29, and globally ranked at #95;
Domestically, U of Tennessee, Knoxville is ranked at #65, and globally ranked at #94 (on par with Brown)
Domestically, Georgia Tech is ranked at #29 (on par with Brown), and globally ranked at #180

Domestically, Purdue U is ranked at #44, and globally ranked at #59
Domestically, UC-Santa Cruz is ranked at #39 (on par with Purdue), and globally ranked at #146
Domestically, New York U is ranked at #36 (on par with Purdue), and globally ranked at #137
Domestically, UMass-Amherst is ranked at #50 (after NYU), and globally ranked at #117 (above NYU)

All of the rankings mentioned above are Physics Subject rankings. I know that ranking cannot represent everything and should be treated more as a suggestion. A good professor and a productive lab is a billion times more important than rankings. However, some of the ranking difference between domestic university and global university seem quite extreme.

Since students still widely consult rankings in grad school selection, can someone please explain why such (extreme) difference exist? Is this the result of different ranking methodology? (For example, not everywhere in the world use GRE in application.) And everybody please feel free to share your thoughts on rankings and a successful Physics PhD career.

USA domestic Physics ranking:
https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-sc ... s-rankings
Global Physics ranking:
https://www.usnews.com/education/best-g ... es/physics

common_2012
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 11:01 pm

Re: About US News physics subject ranking: What is the difference between USA domestic ranking and global ranking?

Postby common_2012 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:37 am

Also quite unclear on this. I guess it's the ranking indicator that makes a difference. Plus, I'd suggest that even the graduate school rankings could be very biased.

muonneutrino
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:41 pm

Re: About US News physics subject ranking: What is the difference between USA domestic ranking and global ranking?

Postby muonneutrino » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:22 am

First off, I would take all rankings with a huge grain of salt. That being said, it looks like the domestic rankings are from 2014 while the global are from 2017-18. Also, from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-g ... ethodology, for the domestic: "Rankings of doctoral programs in the sciences are based solely on the results of surveys sent to academics in biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics." For the global (from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-g ... ethodology): "These subject-specific rankings – which are not of academic majors, departments or specific schools at universities, such as business or medical schools – are based on academic research performance in those subjects. U.S. News has used various bibliometric measures, including publications and citations, as well as indicators for global and regional reputation in each specific subject."

wucun667
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: About US News physics subject ranking: What is the difference between USA domestic ranking and global ranking?

Postby wucun667 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:16 pm

Thank you so much, guys! :D Your posts indeed helped to clarify things a lot. Thanks! :D




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