The US News just released its 2009 Grad School Rankings. I’m going to list the top ten for business school, law school, and medical school (research) and provide links to the ranking methodology for each category. For other graduate specialties, please visit the US News site.
A few caveats: My strong recommendation is to use the rankings as a library of raw data conveniently compiled in one location and not as a tried and true guide of educational quality. They are not the latter. They are the former. To the extent you are going to use the rankings as a guide to school reputation and brand value, you must understand the methodology behind them and what they are measuring. Be cognizant of the differences between what is important to you and what is important to the rankings.
A few observations on the rankings themselves:
- There are many ties in the rankings, which implies that the differences in reputation are almost imperceptible when talking about closely ranked programs. For example the difference between being “in the top ten” and out of the top ten (i.e. #11) for medical (research) programs is 1 point, for the top law and business schools it’s 2 points. Don’t get hung up on these differences.
- The “top ten” changes little from year to year. In most cases, if you compare these rankings to the 2009 version, it looks as if US News just reshuffled the deck a tiny bit.
For more on rankings, please see:
- The Rankings (Part 1 of 5) A multi-part series that just concluded.
- Rankings: Controversy and MagazineSales
- Thoughtful Dean Looks at Rankings
- Law School Admissions: Study Says Rankings Influence DecisionMakers