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Latest U.S. News graduate rankings spotlight Berkeley’s breadth

09 April 2008

U.S. News & World Report last week published new rankings of American graduate programs in professional fields and other areas of study, with the assessments continuing to show Berkeley’s academic excellence across a broad range of disciplines.

Each year the magazine produces new rankings of some programs and republishes its earlier rankings in other disciplines, spanning the sciences, humanities, arts, and professional schools. In current rankings of broad disciplines (published from 2005 to this month), Berkeley ranks in the top 10 in 21 out of the 22 disciplines in which it has a program. The campus rates in the top three in 12 out of those 22 fields.

In the newly released 2009 report Berkeley ranked third in engineering, sixth in law, and seventh in both business (tied with Dartmouth) and education (tied with the University of Washington). Medical schools, which Berkeley does not have, were also ranked this year.

New rankings were also released in a number of other disciplines and specialties in which Berkeley has qualifying graduate programs. Berkeley was rated fourth in clinical psychology (tied with Minnesota), and sixth in both public affairs/policy and social work (tied with Texas). Berkeley’s small master of fine arts program ranked 30th in a new assessment based solely on a survey of art school deans and faculty.

The magazine’s methodology varies in different disciplines. The 2009 professional-school rankings are based on opinions of experts in each area — including faculty and professionals who hire graduates — plus statistical indicators that aim to measure the quality of faculty, research, and students. The data is from surveys of some 1,200 programs and 14,000 experts, conducted in fall 2007.

Previous rankings in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, some health specialties, and other areas are based entirely on the ratings of academic experts.

In addition to the fields ranked this year, currently posted U.S. News rankings for humanities and social sciences were published in 2005, for earth sciences in 2006, for biological sciences and chemistry in 2007, and for math, physics, and computer sciences in 2008.

In the collection of current rankings, Berkeley programs are rated No. 1 in English, chemistry, and computer science; No. 2 in economics, history, biological sciences, mathematics, and psychology; and No. 3 in engineering and physics.

The magazine also ranks subspecialties, many of which correspond to Berkeley departments. In these Berkeley ranks No. 1 in civil engineering, chemical engineering, and statistics.

Complete details on the rankings and methodologies are online at grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/grad.