Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Check Out

For all of you applying to grad school, check out the new and improved The website has a bunch of stuff on the complicated world of graduate school, but what caught my eye is their new ranking system. They use data from the National Research Council (NRC), the NSF/NIH/NEH/USED/USDA/NASA Survey of Earned Doctorates, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System to make a database that you can use to generate rankings of physics (or astrophysics) programs based on criteria of your choosing.

Of course, like any ranking system, this has it's flaws and biases. Most notably, the NRC data is 12 years old (they are scheduled to release new data in December), so they tend to reflect where the programs were 10 years ago, not where they are now. However, they do have a lot of good information on post-phd employment in there and the rankings use the best data that exists for comparing graduate programs.

Overall, I think it would have been very handy to have this when I was picking schools to apply to last fall.

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