MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XIX No. 1
September / October 2006
Science, Technology, Ethics,
and Public Decision Making
The Need for Increased Faculty Involvement
in Major Institute Initiatives
Neuroscience Hiring Controversy at MIT
Welcome Back
MIT Shines in Latest U.S. News Ranking
House Mastering Recollected in Tranquility
Teaching this fall? You should know . . .
FOGS Report Highlights
Graduate Student Cost Issues
National Research Council to Assess
U.S. Research Doctorate Programs
Supporting MIT's International Graduate Students: Communicating Within
and Across Cultures
Factory Girls
Accolades for Nancy Hopkins
Dental Insurance Plan for Retirees?
Vernon M. Ingram
International Development Fair Showcases Students' Global Development Experiences
U.S. News Ranking for National Universities
Printable Version

National Research Council to Assess
U.S. Research Doctorate Programs

Lydia Snover

The National Research Council, which is part of the National Academies, has begun a project to assess U.S. research doctorate programs. A similar assessment was conducted in 1983 and 1995. In 1983 MIT had 13 doctoral programs ranked. Four of the programs were ranked 1st, and no programs were ranked less than 10th. In 1995, MIT had 22 programs ranked with six ranked 1st and eight ranked 2nd. No program was ranked lower than 14th. MIT will submit data for 32 programs for the current study.

Unlike the previous efforts in 1983 and 1995, which were based primarily on reputation surveys, the new study will have no reputation component and instead use data collected directly from institutions, programs and faculty. MIT’s participation in this project is being overseen by Claude Canizares, Associate Provost and Vice President for Research, and the Institutional Research group in the Office of the Provost has been tasked with coordinating MIT’s data collection and submissions.

Although the NRC has not determined how they will use the data they collect for this study, the rankings will rely heavily on measures related to faculty productivity (publications, citations, research funding) and quality (honors and awards) as well as program characteristics, including doctoral student support, time to degree, retention, and placement. [Click here for a chart comparing NRC and U.S. News rankings.]

MIT will submit data at the institution and program level and faculty involved in doctoral education will be asked to provide a range of data related to their role in doctoral education. The initial data collection began in the summer of 2006 and is expected to conclude by late winter. Additional information on the study can be found at:

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