Graduate School Rankings Data Collection Begins

Robert J. Morse

U.S. News recently started the data collection for the 2014 edition of the Best Graduate Schools rankings, which will be published in late winter or early spring 2013. The online statistical survey data collection for business, law, engineering, medicine, and education programs began on Oct. 22, 2012. The deadline to complete the statistical surveys is Nov. 30, 2012.

In addition, the new grad school peer assessment reputation surveys are currently being distributed. The peer surveys are in the field for roughly eight weeks; a second mailing will be sent to those who don't respond the first time. U.S. News works with Ipsos Public Affairs, a Chicago-based market research firm, to administer the reputation survey mailings.

What's new this time around? U.S. News is conducting peer-assessment-only rankings for Ph.D. programs in social sciences and humanities, last updated in 2009, including criminology, economics, English, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. In addition, we are doing new rankings of graduate programs in library and information studies, which were similarly last updated in 2009.

We'll continue to publish new rankings in the largest grad school disciplines. As in the past, U.S. News surveys both academics and professionals in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine; their expert opinions about a program's quality are combined with statistical data we collect from each school.

For our law school rankings, we're continuing to conduct new separate peer surveys for programs in clinical training, dispute resolution, environmental law, healthcare law, intellectual property law, international law, legal writing, tax law, and trial advocacy.

For the fourth year in a row, we have separate surveys for both part-time MBA and part-time law programs.

In engineering, we will once again have new engineering specialty peer-assessment-only rankings in these fields: aerospace / aeronautical / astronautical engineering; biological / agricultural engineering; bioengineering / biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer engineering; electrical / electronic / communications engineering; environmental / environmental health engineering; industrial / manufacturing engineering; materials engineering; mechanical engineering; and nuclear engineering.

These engineering rankings are based solely on assessments by department heads in each specialty area, which were provided by the American Society for Engineering Education.