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Ranking Doctoral Programs by Placement: A New Method

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2007

Benjamin M. Schmidt
Princeton University
Matthew M. Chingos
Harvard University


While many bemoan the increasingly large role rankings play in American higher education, their prominence and importance are indisputable. Such rankings have many different audiences, ranging from prospective undergraduates or graduate students, to foundations and government funders, to university administrators identifying strengths and weaknesses of their school. This diverse audience necessarily has varying hopes for what “quality” is measured in school rankings, and different uses for the rankings themselves. But although there are currently a wide variety of ways to assess graduate school quality, most existing surveys have recognized failings that compromise their usefulness to at least one of these different constituencies.The authors extend their thanks to William Bowen, Derek Bruff, Jonathan Cole, Philip Katz, Gary King, Robert Townsend, Harriet Zuckerman, and two anonymous PS reviewers for their valuable comments on and criticisms of earlier drafts of this paper.

© 2007 The American Political Science Association

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