The premier ranking of PhD programs in the US comes from the National Research Council's "Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs", in which leading academics compile the results of extensive surveys, publication data, grant information, and a bit of voodoo (just for fun). This wealth of data is then made into some sort of ranking system, upon which every graduate program in the country will pounce and then come to the conclusion that they are ranked highly in some way. More usefully, it will give prospective graduate students some sort of semi-objective ranking system upon which to make decisions about where to apply for graduate school. The NRC has announced that this will be released on September 28th.
But wait, you say, wasn't this supposed to come out several years ago? Why yes, I respond. It is nominally set to happen every 10 years, with the last report being released in 1995. But, you continue, wasn't there a post on this very blog a year ago claiming the release was imminent? I have no idea what you're talking about and I will not be taking any further questions. I will however say that I'm already planning a post for September 28th celebrating just how far CU has moved upward in the rankings. That is all.